A recent study by Oxfam International has brought to the fore how much of the world’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of few individuals. The report said that one percent of the global population control as much wealth as the rest of 99 percent of world population. According to the report, “the richest one per cent now has as much wealth as the rest of the world combined. Instead of an economy that works for the prosperity of all, for future generations, and for the planet, we have instead created an economy for the one per cent.”
Oxfam predicted that the one per cent would overtake the rest of the world this time next year.
Oxfam also calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population. Oxfam said that the 62 richest people having as much wealth as the poorest 50 per cent of the population is a remarkable concentration of wealth, given that it would have taken 388 individuals to have the same wealth as the bottom 50 per cent in 2010.
It criticised the work of lobbyists and the amount of money kept in tax havens.
It takes cash and assets worth $68,800 (£48,300) to get into the top 10 per cent, and $760,000 (£533,000) to be in the one percent. That means that if you own an average house in London without a mortgage, you are probably in the one per cent.
The figures carry various caveats, for example, information about the wealth of the super-rich is hard to come by, which Credit Suisse said means its estimates of the proportion of wealth held by the 10 per cent and the one per cent is “likely to err on the low side.”
By Dike Onwuamaeze